Blood Cancer

At Cabrini, our haematology team specialises in the rapid diagnosis and treatment of adults with blood cancer. Our haematologists are leaders in their field, and will coordinate your treatment using the latest medical advancements. An expert team of compassionate healthcare professionals will work with you and your family to deliver personalised care and support.

General Inquiries

Phone: (03) 9508 1222

Operating Hours

Consulting Rooms
Monday – Friday, 9.00 am – 5.00 pm

Emergency Department Malvern Hospital
24 hours, 7 days per week

Inpatient Wards Malvern & Brighton
24 hours, 7 days per week

Referral

Required.

For Patients | For GPs

Locations

Cabrini Malvern
181-183 Wattletree Road, Malvern VIC 3144
(03) 9508 1222
Cabrini Brighton
243 New Street, Brighton VIC 3186
(03) 9508 8777

Why choose Cabrini for your blood cancer care?

At Cabrini we have a committed haematology team that can provide the best in expert care of adults with all types of blood cancers. We know this can be an overwhelming and confusing time in your life; that’s why our team is dedicated to caring for you with sensitivity and compassion, providing evidence-based answers and advice to you, your family and GP.

We provide diagnosis, treatment and follow up of blood cancers including:

  • Hodgkin and Non Hodgkin Lymphoma
  • Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia (CLL)
  • Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia (CML)
  • Myeloma, Amyloid and Plasma Cell Disorders
  • Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS)
  • Myeloproliferative Neoplasms (MPN such as Polycythemia vera, Essential Thrombocythemia and Myelofibrosis)

We take a multidisciplinary approach to patient care and treatment, which can include haematologists working alongside dedicated nurses, psycho-oncologists, exercise physiologists, dieticians and physiotherapists. By operating in teams, we are able to develop comprehensive care plans that support your physical and psychological needs.

The comfort and wellbeing of our patients is our top priority, which is why we offer diagnostic, treatment and support services in the one location. Patients can choose to have their treatment at a site convenient to them, with day oncology and inpatient wards available both at our Brighton and Malvern Hospitals. 



Expert Team

Our haematology specialists are at the forefront of new treatments and diagnostic techniques to ensure you receive the most advanced care. Innovative imaging and specialised testing is used to develop your personalised treatment plan, including genomics which analyses your DNA to better understand your genes and their functions. Cabrini’s haematologists are also members of prestigious national and international groups and regularly update their skills based on the latest evidence through conferences and research.

Clinical Trials

Another benefit of being cared for at Cabrini is our dedication to world-class research. Our patients can access pioneering treatments through an extensive clinical trials program delivered by the Cabrini Research and Education Institute. This could include linking in to international and national clinical trials, including Phase 1 studies, which mean you may get the chance to try the latest breakthrough treatments. We are also connected to special access programs that can allow patients to receive new drugs before they are subsidised by the government.

View our Cancer Trials currently recruiting 

We partner with several large academic hospitals in Melbourne to give our patients access to intensive treatments, such as bone marrow transplants.

Services we offer

  • Bone marrow biopsy
  • Chemotherapy and immunotherapy or targeted treatments through day oncology or inpatient ward
  • Clinical trials including Phase 1 studies and access programs for some drugs prior to PBS reimbursement
  • Diagnostic biopsies including surgical or image guided lymph node or lump biopsies
  • Education programs and sessions, chemotherapy diary
  • Full range of medical imaging including state of the art PET scan and interventional radiology including PICC lines and ports
  • Genetic counselling
  • Look good feel better program
  • On site radiotheraphy with GenesisCare Radiation Oncology
  • Cabrini Palliative & Supportive Care services including inpatient, outpatient, consultant and home based care if needed
  • Pastoral Services
  • Psycho-oncology, psychiatry, dietetics/nutrition, physiotherapy, exercise physiology and rehabilitation programs
  • Referrals to external services and supports as needed such as Blood Buddies through Leukaemia Foundation
  • Second opinions
  • Telehealth for regional patients
  • Transfusion service
  • Wig and headwear service – a free wig service for all patients, located at Cabrini Brighton

Our Specialists

Patient Stories

 

 

My experience at Cabrini was the best you could hope for. It was a collaborative approach and I felt genuinely supported by a team of highly skilled, compassionate and caring professionals. I didn’t feel like just 'another person with cancer', it was a very personalised experience which fostered trust and confidence.” - Francesca, Age 40

The team at Cabrini have been fantastic. Being diagnosed with cancer is of course very daunting. You find yourself immediately faced with a great deal of uncertainty and many questions. The cancer specialist team at Cabrini knew exactly what I was going through and how to help, they had answers to all my questions and wasted no time in organising my treatment plan. The collaborative approach of the team made me feel I was in not just one but many safe pair of hands.” - Ramon, Age 51

 

Resources

Commonly asked questions

  • Who do I contact?

    If you have been diagnosed with a blood cancer and would like to attend Cabrini, please speak to your GP who can refer you to one of our experienced haematologists. The haematologist is a medical specialist who coordinates your care and treatment and arranges any further tests or scans you may need.

  • What happens at my first visit with the Haematologist?

    Your haematologist will establish your medical history and ask about any recent symptoms or problems that you experienced in the lead up to your referral or diagnosis. It’s also likely they will examine you. If the haematologist has enough information they will confirm your diagnosis and plan the next steps; however often you will need more tests. These may include blood tests, scans, a needle biopsy or a bone marrow biopsy to determine the diagnosis and stage of the disease. Our team will arrange all your bookings and provide any special instructions, such as fasting.

    It’s likely you will need a second appointment with the haematologist to discuss the test results and diagnosis, and set up a treatment plan. You should bring a list of medications, details of other doctors involved in your care, and any previous test results or scans. You may feel overwhelmed so we recommend bringing a friend or family member to appointments to help you ask questions and take notes.

  • What sort of treatment do I have for my blood cancer?

    Treatment will depend on the type and stage of your illness. Some patients don’t need treatment immediately, but the haematologist may set up a plan to monitor your condition. Treatments for blood cancer can include: chemotherapy, injections, targeted therapies or immunotherapy, oral tablets or radiotherapy. It is best to talk to your haematologist about the optimal treatment and whether a clinical trial would be suitable. Our team will be there to support you every step of the way to make the journey less daunting.

  • Do I need to see any other health professionals?

    At Cabrini we believe your wellbeing extends beyond your physical health during treatment and recovery. To ensure a holistic approach to your health, we offer a range of support services including: dietitians, social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, physiotherapists and exercise physiologists. Your treatment team, including the haematologist and specialist nurses, can also recommend other health professionals who may be able to help you.

    If you are considering seeking treatment from complementary health professionals, be sure to discuss this first with your haematologist, as it may interfere with your medicines and your treatment.

  • What happens during my blood cancer treatment?

    There are many different types of treatment for blood cancers. Most people do not need to be admitted to hospital overnight and can be treated with medications or day treatments. Before starting your treatment your doctor and specialist nurses will write down and discuss the treatment plan with you.

    At Cabrini you will receive a chemotherapy diary, which contains information about side-effects and who to call if you have any problems. You can also use this or an electronic diary to organise your appointments and write down questions. Your haematologist will communicate with your GP throughout your treatment. When it finishes your haematologist will give you a recovery plan and organise follow up appointments.

  • How important is food and exercise during treatment?

    Maintaining a healthy diet and exercise when you are undergoing cancer treatment is proven to have profound benefits. Research shows that if you are active and eat well while you have medical treatment, it may improve your quality of life, reduce your risk of cancer recurrence, increase your chance of survival and extend your life.

    However, it can be difficult to know what to eat and how much to exercise. That’s why Cabrini offers cancer patients advice on nutrition and exercise that is backed by science, and tailored to individual circumstances. Our dietitians offer nutritional support during cancer treatment to help you with weight management and advise you on the correct meal choices.

    We also have a team of exercise physiologists to support you with your exercise needs. The cancer journey can take a heavy physical and mental toll on patients, and exercise is a safe and effective way to counteract some of the side effects. The latest evidence suggests regular exercise before, during and/or following cancer treatment decreases the severity of adverse effects. It has also been linked to reduced risk of developing new cancers and conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and osteoporosis.

    Please ask your specialist for more information, or visit our Allied Health Centre page. The Cancer Oncology Society of Australia’s Position Statement on Exercise in Cancer Care is also a great source of information.

     

  • Can I participate in a clinical trial?

    One of the benefits of being cared for at Cabrini is our dedication to world-class research. Cabrini’s Oncology Clinical Trials Program enables eligible patients to access pioneering treatments, including immunotherapy and targeted therapies, for a range of cancers. Our program, which was established in 2003, provides state-of-the-art care for cancer patients and continued advancements in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. We achieve this through a combination of research, education and clinical practice.

    Your specialist will discuss any clinical trials offered at Cabrini, or at other hospitals, that you may be eligible for. They may also be able to connect you to relevant special access programs, which can allow patients to receive new drugs before they are subsidised by the government.

     

  • What can I do to preserve my fertility?

    When a patient is diagnosed with cancer, it’s common to be so overwhelmed with information that they do not think about the impact treatment may have on their ability to have children. For others, their future fertility is all they can think about. We encourage our cancer patients to discuss how their treatment may affect their ability to conceive a child, or maintain a pregnancy, before treatment begins. The choices you make about fertility preservation will be based on your individual circumstances, such as your diagnosis, treatment plan and desire to have children in the future.

    Your Cabrini cancer specialist or general practitioner can refer you to a fertility specialist or a counsellor who can explain the steps you can take to preserve and protect your fertility before, during and after treatment. They will be able to explain the potential impact of treatment on your chances of conceiving and the latest fertility preservation techniques, while understanding the unique time constraints a cancer patient faces.

  • How much will my treatment cost?

    It depends on your private health insurance policy and the type of medical tests and treatment you require. Every patient is different, so we recommend speaking to your doctors and health insurance provider about the expected associated costs. Generally, hospital cover policies pay the cost of in-hospital treatment charged by your specialist, and costs such as accommodation and theatre fees. You may need to pay a gap, which is the difference between the total fee charged by your doctor and any Medicare rebate and health fund benefit.

    Your haematologist can tell you the cost of their consultations. Often the first and second visits will cost more, and there will be a small out of pocket cost for subsequent outpatient visits. If you see the haematologist in hospital, or on a day you are admitted for treatment, there will usually be no out of pocket cost or ‘gap’ for the consultation.

    Please note: this is a guide only. For further details please contact your private health provider.

  • Is financial assistance available?

    Victoria offers four free programs for people experiencing financial hardship as the result of their cancer diagnosis: the Legal Referral Service, the Financial Planning Referral Service, the Workplace Advisory Service and the Small Business Advice Service. Industry professionals volunteer to deliver these programs to patients experiencing financial difficulties. Cancer Council Victoria offers advice in its Cancer and Your Finances Guide. It also helps refer patients to services that may be useful.

    At Cabrini we can also connect you to a social worker, who can give you information about accessing superannuation and other financial advice. We understand cancer patients can experience financial hardship as a result of their diagnosis and treatment, so we offer patients receiving chemotherapy a discount on many services. Ask your doctor or nurse about the Cabrini Chemotherapy Card and how it can be used to offset some of the costs of care. We are also making it easier for our patients by improving our billing information.

  • Where else can I get more information?

    We encourage you to speak to your haematologist and other Cabrini health professionals about any questions or concerns you may have. This can be a difficult time for patients and their families and we are here to help.

    For more information on blood cancers you can visit the websites listed in the External Resources section. You can also learn more about our haematologists on the Cabrini website, either from their profiles in the Specialist section or the Find a Doctor page.